Indonesian plane crashes, at least 98 dead

Dozens were injured and more feared dead, with local television flashing footage of fire engulfing the mangled wreckage.

By
May 20, 2009 10:33
2 minute read.
Indonesian plane crashes, at least 98 dead

plane crash indonesia 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

An Indonesian military plane carrying troops and their families crashed into a row of houses and burst into flames Wednesday, killing at least 98 people, the latest in a string of accidents plaguing the beleaguered air force. Black smoke billowed in the air as soldiers carried the injured past the burning wreckage of the C-130 Hercules - its tail resting upside down in a rice paddy and the rest of the charred fuselage scattered over several hundred meters. Military spokesman Sagom Tamboen said the transport plane, built in 1980, plunged to the ground near an air force base in East Java province, slamming into a residential neighborhood and then skidding into a field. It was not clear what caused the crash, but several witnesses described seeing its right wing fall off while it was still in the air. "I heard at least two big explosions and saw flashes of fire inside the plane," said Lamidi, a 41-year-old peasant who was working in a nearby rice field and ran for cover. "The wing snapped off and fell to the ground." The plane was carrying at least 109 passengers and crew, including troops and their families, when it went down in Geplak, a village 520 kilometers east of the capital, Jakarta. At least 10 children were among them. At least 98 people were killed, including two on the ground, and 15 others were injured, said Bambang Samudro, chief of the military air base in Magetan. Many of the injured suffered severe burns. "Before the plane crashed, I heard several blasts and then it started wobbling from left to right," 2nd Pvt. Saputra said from his bed at the air force hospital. "It crashed to the ground and I was pinned under several people. I heard screaming before losing consciousness." The country's air force, long underfunded and handicapped by a recently lifted U.S. ban on weapons sales, has suffered a series of accidents, including a Fokker 27 plane that crashed into an airport hangar last month, killing all 24 onboard. The air force has operated C-130s - the backbone of its transport wing - since the early 1960s, when it received a batch of 10 from the United States in exchange for the release of a CIA bomber pilot shot down in 1958 while supporting an anti-government mutiny. About 40 more were delivered over the next 20 years, many secondhand and provided by Washington before the Clinton administration imposed sanctions on military deliveries because of violence that broke out during East Timor's 1999 break for independence. The air force complained that many of the planes quickly became unserviceable because of the lack of spare parts. Though the embargo was lifted several years ago, the air worthiness of many is still in question. Tamboen promised a full investigation of all military aircraft. There also have been a series of commercial airline crashes in recent years which killed more than 120 people. The EU responded by banning all Indonesian carriers from flying to Europe.

Related Content

July 22, 2018
Four biggest benefits Of payday loans when you’re struggling financially

By LEO GIOSUÈ